Hispano Aviación HA-1112

The arrival of new Bf 109 occurred steadily, and not only from the initial B model, but from the more modern models C and D. Obviously the German aid to the National side (insurgents) materialized in the “Legion Condor” was very important , but also the Germans obtained a great information of the behavior of the Bf 109 in combat and therefore of the possible improvements that had to be made to him. The learning of the Luftwaffe in the SCW not only to the development of this particular plane, but to the tactics of air war in general.
Although the Bf 109s were fighting in Spain, even these planes did not do it with the Spanish national badge since they belonged to the Luftwaffe. The interest of the National side in the acquisition of these modern airplanes fructified when from 1938 they began these airplanes to happen at the hands of Spanish pilots flying in the 6 Fighter Group. The Germans did not raise objections to the sale of the airplanes, already that they were already working on the development of the new version of Bf 109, the Bf 109 E (which was the main German fighter at the beginning of WW2).
Following the history of the Bf 109 in Spain, in April 1938, five Bf-109 C (equipped with an injection engine and armed with four machine guns) arrived at the Tablada airfield in Sevilla (Seville in English) and in August the most modern ones began to arrive. Bf-109 D (equipped with carburetion engine and armed with four machine guns). The Tablada aerodrome together with its neighbour El Copero aerodrome, will witness for almost 30 years the flights of the iconic fighter designed by Willy Messerschmitt, from the time of the biplanes to the first supersonic flights.

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Spanish aviation after the Spanish Civil War

After the bloody Spanish Civil War that took place between 1936 and 1939, Spain had been exhausted and destroyed after declaring the end of the war on April 1. But due to the war years, it had accumulated a large amount of very heterogeneous war material. Regarding the Air Force (known as National Aviation during the Civil War), we can assure that according to the report sent on February 9, 1940 by the Spanish Air Force general director, it had 1148 aircraft of 95 different models that turned the Spanish Air Force (by number of airplanes) into one of the most numerous in Europe after Germany, Great Britain, France or Italy. The aircraft heterogeneity and the lack of resources led to a high accident rate reaching 105 crew members in the period 1939-1945. At that time, there were more plans than pilots.
The National Aviation (this was the denomination of the Spanish Air Force of the side of the insurgents) received approximately 39 Bf 109 B, five Bf 109 C and 36 Bf 109 D. At the end of the SCW in 1939, the state of conservation in which they were Bf 109 Spaniards was terrible due to the constant use they had. Of the planes received, 9 had been shot down during the war, 26 were retired for various reasons and about 15 were sent to Germany for various repairs. Despite this, from the “Legion Condor” were transferred to Spain 27 Bf 109 in their models A, B, E-1 and E3 (note the modern Bf 109 E in its first versions E-1 and E-3 ) that were finally deployed within the National Aviation, which shortly after (in October 1939) would be renamed Air Force (Ejército del Aire or EdA or Spanish Air Force), going to 25 Group in Logroño, and fighter schools in Reus and Morón de la Frontera (some Bf 109 of which fought during the SCW remained in flight until 1954). In the Spanish Air Force, the 3 Bf 109 Squadrons coexisted with their old rivals of Soviet manufacture I-15 or I-16, being at the end of 1939 the most modern and powerful fighters that flew in Europe. But in September 1939 the WW2 began and with it the developments and advances in armament technology evolved with such speed, that in just a few months the Spanish Bf 109s had become obsolete before the mass appearance of more modern German fighter models.

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But we have to start from the beginning, so on August 8, 1939, the Air Ministry was created, with General Juan Yagüe, a Legion veteran and Germanophile, elected as minister (this election was surprising, since the initial candidate was General Kindelán who had directed the National Aviation during the Civil War, which created some discomfort among the Spanish pilots to feel discriminated). On October 7, 1939 by State´s Headquarters law, the Air Force (EdA) was born. Its assignments included “the fundamental one to develop all its offensive power by means of its air units”. On November 9, the Aviation Weapon was created, as the main element and axis of the EdA. On December 15, the Aeronautical Engineers Corps was created within the EdA.